Chael Sonnen showed Anderson Silva respect about every other interview in the lead-up to their meeting earlier this year.
After Silva earned a second victory over Sonnen, the outspoken former contender called “The Spider” one of the best.
Well, now Sonnen is set to face another elite fighter in Jon Jones. Sonnen and the UFC light heavyweight champion will coach the next season of The Ultimate Fighter. The two were part of a conference call earlier this week to discuss the reality show.
Sonnen was asked his honest opinion on Jones, a man he has called out for the better part of two months now.
I think Jon Jones is the best fighter I’ve ever seen. If I have to compare him to somebody, I would put Randy Couture above him, but a lot of that is out of respect. I don’t believe he’s better than Randy Couture, but he’s fantastic. He has techniques I don’t even know what their called.
Despite having positives to say about Jones, Sonnen went quickly back to his Chael P. Sonnen ways.
The bottom line: he hasn’t beat anybody until he beats me. He beat (Ryan) Bader, Shogun (Rua), a glorified Hollywood extra (Quinton “Rampage” Jackson), Vitor (Belfort). He needs me. I am the man because I say I am the man.
Sonnen continued, saying there are two reasons he will defeat Jones.
“First off, I’ve been on both sides of an ass whipping, something Jon hasn’t. He’s been a very dominate fighter, fought guys that were very timid. I’m going to walk out there and get in a fist fight. Second, I’m in a lot better shape than Jon or anybody else he’s fought. Skill-for-skill, he’s better. Jon will admit I’m in better shape than any……”
Jones interrupted Sonnen there, asking, “Are you saying (you are in better shape) on TRT or off TRT?”
Sonnen said, “On TRT…..let’s move on.”
The TRT question came up later in the press conference, with Jones saying he feels as if it is cheating. TRT is testosterone replacement therapy, and Sonnen has been cleared to use it in the past.